Book Review
The Vought F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair
  • move

by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering The Vought F4U Corsair is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subjects’ mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.

The following portion of the review is as provided by Pen and Sword:
First flown in 1940, the prototype Vought F4U Corsair instantly became the fastest fighter in the world and the fastest US aircraft of any description. Powered by a huge 18-cylinder Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp engine driving an enormous 13 feet 4 inch propeller, the first Corsairs were capable of 417mph. This figure would rise to nearly 450mph in later versions.

Production began in 1941, not only by Vought but also by Goodyear and Brewster, and the F4U entered service with the US Navy in September 1942. The aircraft subsequently came to be extensively used from land and sea by the US Marines, Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force. Famous squadrons like VMF-214 'The Black Sheep' and VF-17 'Jolly Rogers', along with many others, maintained total ascendancy over the Japanese for the rest of the war - a remarkable achievement for a single type.

After the Second World War the Corsair remained in production and was used with distinction by the French in Indo-China and again by the US Navy in Korea. Since then Corsairs have achieved significant success in air races and more and more are being restored to fly for museums and warbird enthusiasts the world over.

This comprehensive new book combines technical information and detailed development history with a fascinating combat history told, in many cases, by the Second World War and Korean War pilots themselves. Well researched, readable and illustrated with scores of rare and previously unpublished photographs, Vought F4U Corsair is the perfect book for any fan of the 'bent wing bird'.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book titled ‘The Vought F4U Corsair' has been authored by Martin W Bowman; Martin W Bowman has authored a huge number of titles in this series and others, he has 84 books listed and available from Pen and Sword alone and so a prolific author. The contents of this title are provided over 121 pages of good quality semi gloss paper. There are a few blank pages at the end of this title which are great for the reader to make notes in on the title for speed of navigation over time.

The purpose of these books is to cover the subject in a photographic manner rather than a written book, but I have noted that the written aspect of these books varies greatly and this title is no exception. The author has presented the reader with a very thorough introduction that serves its purpose well, and over 30 pages of dedicated text provides a great deal of information that I found informative and worthy of taking the time to read. I will say that I thought this book had changed the format as there is no contents listed in the title, but the author has provided the great introduction and dedicated the rest of the title to the photographs.

The photographs in this offering are a mix of qualities as you would expect when the author tries to cover an aircraft that saw long service and the desire to show that service in this book. with that said on the whole the quality is very high in most cases and makes for great visual reference on the Corsair as it looked at various stages over it career. I found the images a great mix of promotional, personal and what I believe are news images. The mix of images is lifted in my opinion by showing aircraft that have come to grief and so showing details that are hard to see otherwise. I was also pleased to see race aircraft and Corsair's in service with the British and French Forces as well as the American Navy.

Each of the photographs has been provided with a very well written caption by the author. The captions of course vary as regards how much information is provided depending on what the author has managed to ascertain about them, but I do feel this author has done a particularly good job of the task in many cases due to some have very long and informative captions. As s modeller for the most part I was very impressed by the selection of images provided as even its racing days are covered along with other respects


This title as part of the Images at War series offers some great shots of Corsair in service with US Navy and Fleet Air Arm during World War 2 and the Americans in Korea and the French in Vietnam, you also get some images of racing Corsair's that makes for a nicely rounded book. For those in the UK there is an exceptional example of this aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. So this book should appeal to the modeller with an inkling for a Corsair at some point in time.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘The Vought F4U Corsair'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526705884
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Jan 07, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Pen & Sword Books!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move